The fish of the Iwokrama forest

Platydoras (Raphael Catfish) (Photo by M H Sabaj)

The waterways within and around the Iwokrama Forest are home to an extremely high diversity of fish. So far, 420 species have been identified and what makes this exceptional is that this figure is exceedingly high seeing as only a small portion of the rivers have been surveyed. This has led to estimates of up to 600 species for the area. In comparison, there are only 700 species of fish in all of North America. For an area its size it is possible that the Iwokrama forest has the world’s highest fish diversity.

Two factors potentially cause this elevated diversity. The first factor is the wide range of habitats represented within the area. Here, fish have a huge choice of habitats offering opportunities for speciation including flooded forests and savannahs, rivers, creeks, ponds and ox-bow lakes. The second factor is that the Essequibo River is situated between three major ichthyofaunal regions: the Orinoco, eastern Guiana Shield, and Amazon.

Flooding during the annual high water period enables an exchange in fish species between these three systems.

 

A young fisherman casts his net. (Photo by Fotonatura)

Fish highlights include the worlds largest freshwater fish, the Arapaima (Arapaima gigas), the Silver Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), the common sport fish – Peacock Bass or Lukanani (Cichla ocellaris), the savage Red-Bellied Piranha (Pygo-centrus natteri), various freshwater stingrays, (Potamotrygon spp.), large catfish including the Piraíba or Lao Lao (Brachyplatystoma filamen-tosum), the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) as well as many colourful aquarium fish.

Rain forests are rich in biodiversity and are home to many different plants and animals as well as indigenous communities.
Humans, even those who don’t live in the rain forest, rely on it for resources such as building materials (wood and lianas), medicine and fruits.

Rain forests also provide essential environmental services for life on earth; they create soil as well as prevent soil erosion, produce oxygen through photosynthesis, maintain clean water systems, and are a key defence against climate change. 

 

Platydoras (Raphael Catfish) (Photo by M H Sabaj)

The Iwokrama Rain Forest is 371,000 hectares, located in the heart of Guyana. Our mission is to develop strategies for conservation and sustainable development for local people in Guyana and the world at large.

We are involved in timber, tourism and training.  Come and visit us in the rain forest or at http://www .iwokrama.org.

Comments  

Vladimir’s Venezuela – Leveraging loans to Caracas, Moscow snaps up oil assets

CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) – Venezuela’s unraveling socialist government is increasingly turning to ally Russia for the cash and credit it needs to survive – and offering prized state-owned oil assets in return, sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

Urbanization 2.0

By Carl Bildt CHICAGO – We are now in the final days of the industrial age.

Men’s health

During Men’s Health Week, the man/woman in the street were asked to speak on their lifestyles and what they do to maintain their health or to encourage their significant others to lead healthy lifestyles.

By ,

Drug use/abuse: A more humane approach needed…

By The Caribbean Voice There are no reliable statistics on the amount of persons engaging in the use of illegal drugs or those described as addicts.

Crude oil production: royalty rates, profit-sharing, and accounting arrangements

In last week’s article, we referred to the two recognized methods of accounting for costs relating to the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas: the “successful efforts” (SE) method and the “full cost” (FC) method.

By ,

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×